UBS snatches wealth management crown from Bank of America

Published:  10 Jul at 11 AM Swiss bank UBS has overtaken Bank of America to become the world’s number one wealth manager. Managed assets at UBS grew by 9.7 per cent to hit $1.7 trillion last year, according to Scorpio Partnership. This topped the 5.9 per cent growth to $1.67 trillion recorded by Bank of America.

In a statement, Scorpio said the private banking industry has been experiencing an up-turn since the financial crisis. Global wealth management assets increased by 8.7 per cent $18.5 trillion during 2012.

In third place was Wells Fargo followed closely by Morgan Stanley. The 20 biggest wealth managers grew assets by more than 10 per cent and now control more than three-quarters of global client funds, according to Scorpio.

However, increasing operating costs meant a slowdown in earnings for wealth managers last year. A 9.8 per cent increase in profits was recorded in 2012 compared to growth of 12.3 per cent the previous year.

Julius Baer is likely to improve its position this year following its acquisition of the wealth management business belonging to Bank of America outside the US. Banco Santander has re-entered the top 20 because of a growth in assets under management following the takeover of Banco Espanol de Credito.